Author Joseph Descallar, David Muscatello, Don Weatherburn, Matthew Chu and Steve Moffatt
Published August 2011
Report Type Affiliated publication
Subject Alcohol; Assault; Statistical methods and modelling
Keywords Alcohol, assault, cross correlation, emergency department, emergency room, Poisson regression, spline, time‐series, violence

Download this publication



To assess the short‐term temporal relationship between emergency department (ED) attendances for acute alcohol problems and assaults reported to police.

Key findings

There was no time lag found between the ED and police series. A weekly increase of 100 attendances in people aged 15 years and above to EDs for alcohol problems was associated with an 11% [95% confidence interval (CI): 7–15%] increase in the number of incident assaults attended by police. The relationship was similar and statistically significant for domestic and non‐domestic assaults and urban areas. The association was stronger between ED attendances and persons of interest aged 15–24 years (27%, 95% CI: 15–41%), 15–24‐year‐old males (39%, 95% CI: 16–66%) and 15–24‐year‐old females (66%, 95% CI: 20–129%).


There is a clear, short‐term temporal association between independent population‐level markers of excessive alcohol use and violence.

Download this publication